New books – festivals and ceremonies

Celebrations and festivals mark our progress through each year, and are special times to enjoy with family, or opportunities to indulge our interests and celebrate life. This selection of new books on festivals and ceremonies is full of vibrant colour and joyful celebrations of culture. We hope you enjoy them!

Syndetics book coverAround the world in 500 festivals : the world’s most spectacular celebrations / Steve Daley.
“Around the World in 500 Festivals is a rare book that will fascinate and inspire. A large-format, beautifully illustrated coffee-table volume, it is a photographic exploration of the richness and variety of the worlds most colourful, moving, joyful, and spectacular celebrations. Thousands of festivals, great and small, take place around the world every year. ” (Abridged from Syndetics Summary)

Syndetics book coverPasefika : the Festival of Pacific Arts / Floyd K. Takeuchi.
“Every four years since 1972, the Pacific Islands’ best dancers and cultural practitioners gather to perform. The Festival of Pacific Arts, as this amazing event is known, is a celebration unlike any other held in Oceania. The Festival is a two-week showcase of the finest dancers, singers, carvers and other cultural masters from across the Pacific. This book, the first published about the Festival of Pacific Arts, tells the story of the 10th Festival that was held in American Samoa in mid-2008. More than 2,000 cultural practitioners traveled to Tutuila Island for the 10th Festival of Pacific Arts. Hundreds of visitors from around the world, plus thousands of resident Samoans, gathered on the shores of Pago Pago Harbor to watch performance after performance. This book is the story of that special gathering of the best of the Pacific Islands.” (

Syndetics book coverA perfect haze : the illustrated history of the Monterey International Pop Festival / Harvey Kubernik and Kenneth Kubernik ; foreword by Lou Adler ; afterword by Michelle Phillips.
“The sights and sounds of one of the most famous music festivals in history come to life in this extraordinary compilation of photography, memorabilia, and firsthand accounts from the Summer of Love’s biggest event.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRick Steves’ European Christmas / by Rick Steves and Valerie Griffith.
“Rick Steves, America’s expert on Europe, teams up with co-author Valerie Griffith to explore the rich and fascinating mix of traditions-Christian, pagan, musical, and edible-that led to the Christmas festivities we enjoy today.Rick brings home an authentic, surprising portrait of holiday celebrations in England, Norway, France, Germany, Austria, Italy, and Switzerland. Romans cook up eels, Salzburgers shoot off guns, Germans buy “prune people” at markets, Norwegian kids hope to win marzipan pigs, and Parisians ice-skate on the Eiffel Tower.With thoughtful insights, vibrant photos, and more than a dozen recipes, this book captures the spirit of the season. It’s a delightful way to learn something new-and old-about Christmas.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLet’s celebrate! : festival poems from around the world / edited by Debjani Chatterjee & Brian D’Arcy ; illustrated by Shirin Adl.Let’s Celebrate!: Festival Poems from Around the World
“Twenty-four festivals are presented through poetry in different forms, some of which may be new to readers. The celebrations presented are a mix of religious and secular, and each one is briefly explained in the back matter. The selections range from classics by Ralph Waldo Emerson and Pablo Neruda to entries by “Anonymous” and the editors of the book. Colorful, mixed-media illustrations” (Abridged from School Library Journal)

Syndetics book coverLighting our world : a year of celebrations / written by Catherine Rondina ; illustrated by Jacqui Oakley.
“From the children’s festival of Tet Trung Thu in Vietnam to the holy month of Ramadan, Rondina and Oakley offer an informative, month-by-month look at global holidays, both religious and secular. A February/March spread highlights Las Fallas, a festival honoring Saint Joseph in Valencia, Spain, as well as the Lenten Carnival in Martinique; a July spread covers independence celebrations in six countries, including Argentina, Belgium, and France. Oakley’s acrylic paintings have a weathered quality that recalls faded murals, while conjuring appropriately festive atmospheres for each occasion. Ages 7-10.” (Publisher Weekly)